The Nenets are an indigenous small-numbered people of the Russian North. Culture- and language-wise, the Nenets form two independent communities: the Tundra Nenets and the Forest Nenets. The Tundra Nenets live in the vast space of the Eurasian north from the Kola Peninsula in the west to the Taymyr Peninsula in the east. The Forest Nenets populate the northern tundra in the catchment area of the river Pur and the Numto mesa, from the upper reaches of the rivers Kazym, Nadym, and Pim to the upper reaches of the Agan. 

General information
The Nenets use the endonyms nenets’, hasava (the tundra dialect) and neshchang (the forest dialect) meaning “person, man.” The nenets’ ethnonym is used together with adjectives nenei or nenei nenets’, “a real person.” The Tundra Nenets call their forest relatives pyan-hasava (forest people) or Pyakami (after the name of the largest clan). Russian chronicles and documents call the Tundra Nenets “Samoyad,” “Samoyed,” and “Yuraks” and the Forest Nenets “Kunnaya” (Kazym) Samoyad. The word “Samoyed” as an ethnonym denoting a group of related peoples has its origins in the Russian language. Most likely, it comes from the Saami word “Same-Edne,” “the land of the Saami, the land of people.” As Russians moved deeper into Siberia, the name was extended to peoples related to the Nenets in their languages and culture. There was also a folk etymology of the word “Samoyed”: “self-eaters,” “eating each other.” 
Surrounding society and the main economic society of the region of residence

Industrial development of natural resources, primarily hydrocarbons, and Russia’s state geostrategy for reviving the development of the Russian Arctic, including navigation along the Northern Sea Route (because of, among other things, global warming and melting ice in the Arctic seas) serve as the main drivers of developing the regions of the Nenets’ residence. 

Spiritual culture

Mythological picture of the world and traditional beliefs. The Nenets are pagans: most Siberian Nenets did not convert to Christianity either when Metropolitan Feofil (Leshchinsky) baptized non-Slavs in great numbers (early 18th century) or later; European Nenets were formally converted in the 1820s during the mission of Archmandrite Veniamin that destroyed the principal shrines, including the famous temple on Vaigach Island.

Supplementary materials
Other materials describing the life, culture and history of the people
Interactive Atlas of the Indigenous Small-Numbered Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East